Rosario / Andelst, January 5, 2014 – “I want to start, we are tired of waiting,” said Tom Colsoul, since many years the navigator of Iveco driver Gerard de Rooy. “But we can finally start now. We will have to check our speed on public roads carefully because the organization will monitor the maximum speed limits even more strict this year, especially on the neutralized, non-competitive parts of the route.”
Safety is the most important issue on the A.S.O. agenda. During the briefing the organization also expressed that Le Dakar is mainly a sporting event and that every competitor should respect the ideas of Thierry Sabine and that therefore solidarity should not be forgotten.
As many as 431 participants passed the start podium on Saturday. After 214 motorcycles and quads and another 147 cars, 70 trucks took off for this 2014 edition of the Dakar rally. Along the short access route a large crowd of enthusiastic people watched the vehicles passing by. That makes driving in South America substantially different than the old adventure in the African deserts. The organization estimated that there were a million spectators in Rosario to attend the start.
The Iveco trucks are now in the Parc Fermé, ready for the first special of 809 km from Rosario to San Luis. The first connection route is 405 kilometers long, followed by a timed 80-kilometer race against the clock and another connection route of 224 kilometers. The route is mostly on a gravel surface and the road of the Special will climb with nearly 1,600 meters. Thereby passing the tree line at almost 2,200 meters.